KATHMANDU, June 4: About 700 teachers appointed by Tribhuvan University (TU) in the Kathmandu Valley have been taking fewer classes than assigned. Almost all of the under-worked teachers are permanent teachers of TU.
According to TU, it has a total of 16,014 permanent and on-contract staffers, including 7,920 teachers and 8,094 administrative and technical staffers at its 60 constituent campuses, 39 central departments and four research centers. TU has a total of 360,254 students including 142,293 (39.50 percent) in the constituent campuses and 217,961 (60.50 percent) in private or affiliated campuses across the country.
Among them, 19 constituent campuses, 39 central departments and four research centers are located in the Kathmandu Valley.
The Monitoring Directorate of Tribhuvan University Central Office has been working to find out the work details of teachers working at the campuses under TU across the country. It has planned to finalize the report by July 15. The preliminary report of the Kathmandu Valley shows that many teachers receive the salaries without teaching all assigned periods as per the rules.
"We have found that about 700 teachers in the Kathmandu Valley are under-worked," said Bishnu Prasad Khanal, executive director at the Monitoring Directorate, "We will complete the report by July 15 and publish it at the beginning of the coming fiscal year. We have also found several teachers who get their salaries without teaching at all."
As per the rules, a full-time TU teacher should take 15 classes per week at the Bachelor's level and 12 classes per week at the Master's level. However, a large number of teachers in the Valley have been receiving their salaries without taking all assigned classes. In this controversial scenario, the part-time teachers of TU staged protest programs from time to time demanding to be hired as full-time teachers on contract.
During the tenure of former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, a cabinet meeting decided to appoint 1,420 part-time teachers as full-timers on contract. There are now about 350 temporary teachers assigned on contract as full-timers. "Paying the under-worked teachers full salary is a waste of TU's resources," said a high-ranking TU official, "Almost all teachers who are under-worked or do not teach at all are permanent TU staffers."
Suspecting such irregularities in TU, the National Vigilance Center (NVC) recently asked the University Grants Commission (UGC) to provide the details of the workload of teachers in TU. Then UGC has asked the TU to provide details of workloads of teaching staff in TU.
Prof Dr Tirtha Raj Khaniya, vice-chancellor of TU, admitted that some TU teachers are under-worked. "Some are overworked while others are under-worked because of the imbalance in the subject-wise enrollment distribution," said VC Khaniya. "The teachers of popular subjects are overloaded with work while unpopular subject teachers are under-worked," he added.
Prof Khaniya further said that they would manage the teaching staff by transferring them to the needy departments. "We can't fire the under-worked teachers. As far as hiring teachers on contract is considered, only temporary teachers teaching full-time will be hired on contract," he claimed. "We have also directed the departments and campuses not to enroll less than 10 students in a subject, and provide day and morning shifts of intakes."
According to TU, it has a total of Rs 16.66 billion in unsettled amounts, mainly from fiscal years 1999/2000 to 2016/2017. The university, which has an average annual budget of Rs 10 billion, has seen its arrears increase by Rs 2 billion annually in recent years, according to the Office of the Registrar.